Bonjour, my loyal friends! Did I mention my parents were coming??? Sawyer and I were so happy to see new people we almost couldn’t stand it. I was getting pretty sick of me, and I think the dog was, too. And poor Martha was really tired of Sawyer and me jumping up to lick her face when she walked in the door from school. Mom and Dad were pretty stoked to see us, as well, even if Mom doesn’t look like it in the above photo. Blame it on jet lag- this was the afternoon of their arrival and we were schlepping around Sacre Coeur in the drizzle. I was the only one of the four of us (Mark was the photographer) who wasn’t jet lagged, and it kind of reminded me of being the only sober one at a party. Or, what I would think that would be like. I would much rather be drunk than jet lagged, though. Wait, where was I going with this? Oh yeah- they were all bleary eyed and yawning and occasionally babbling nonsense, and after awhile I started feeling like I had just stayed up all night, too. Weird.
They arrived over a week ago and we have been movin’ and shakin’ and covering some ground. This morning they boarded the fast train to Avignon for a few days, and I came home to play catch up. I guess I am not a very good multi-tasker, because the housework, French studying, grocery shopping, and oh yeah- BLOGGING- have gone to s*it since I have been wearing my hostess cap. I really intended to make a bigger dent cleaning up this joint today , but Mark just left me a message that I needed to update my blog, so I guess the dog hair and general disarray can wait. I think Mark is worried that you guys will all abandon me and start reading a blog about tennis or life on an Oklahoma cattle ranch or something (right- like THAT would ever happen ) and then I would be all depressed and weepy and he would feel like he had to buy me something and it would all go downhill from there. So you can thank him for today’s post (or blame him, depending on how this post turns out).
Amazingly, the Sunday they arrived was the only drizzly day we have had so far. Monday morning they woke refreshed and we took a self-guided walking tour in the Marais. We found ourselves in the very chi-chi Place de Vosges, which was built by Henry IV in 1608 and called the Place Royal. This was Paris’ first square, and was the site of duels and tournaments. It is lined by nine symmetrical houses on each side, with slate roofs and dormer windows over arcades, and is gorgeous. Henry IV lived here, as did Victor Hugo (but not at the same time). The Place Royal was the home of the aristocracy and is still very prestigious real estate. You may have heard of one of today’s residents- Dominique Strauss-Kahn? Well, I think that’s where he lives, anyway. My French teacher told me he did, but she may have said he once dated several women who lived there. Never really sure how much of what she says I am understanding, but I smile and nod and say “oui” a lot, and it seems to work.
This photo (below) shows the beautiful underside of the arcades, which are lined with cafes and shops, but nothing
This photo reminds me that we ate lunch at a cafe under this arcade, and the people next to us were eating blood sausage that was almost black. There was also a woman eating a bowl of what appeared to be raw hamburger meat with a sprinkling of vegetables on top. Whew- and I thought I was making great strides in learning to eat olives here. This is going to be harder than I thought.
Never leave me, friends, even when I get distracted with other things or quote completely inaccurate facts. There is an abundance of blogs that give really good historical background on Parisian sites. This is not one of them.
I’m not sending my parents back to Texas until it quits getting to 100 degrees in Austin. Hear that, Texas?